Sun, Jun

Trinidad and Tobago U-20's Lindell Sween on the go during an International Friendly against Jamaica U-20 at UTT Campus O’Meara, Malabar on Thursday, January 25th 2024.

T&T men's football coach Angus Eve has named a 25-man squad for his team's two friendlies against Guyana at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo on May 13 and 15 respectively.

Similar to a pair of friendlies against Jamaica two months ago, the Soca Warriors coach has chosen a squad largely comprising locally based players, with Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) standout Lindell Sween among the players called up on Friday.

Eve initially picked a 26-man squad, but Tiger Tanks Club Sando defender Jamal Jack was a late scratch due to injury.

Earlier this week, Eve said next week's matches will provide an opportunity to expose new players to the international scene as T&T look ahead to their first Fifa 2026 World Cup qualifier against Grenada at the Hasely Crawford venue on June 5. On June 8, the Warriors will face Bahamas on the road in their second qualifier.

"We see these games as very important cogs in the wheel of our preparations going into the World Cup campaign for 2026," Eve said, via a May 7 T&T Football Association (TTFA) release. "It's an ongoing programme that we have started since I have come on board where we get some international games to get the locally based players up to speed."

The 17-year-old Sween, who can be utilised as an attacking midfielder or a striker, represented T&T at the Concacaf under-17 championship last year, and he was also a member of the T&T squad which contested the Concacaf under-20 championship on home soil in February. Sween was hampered by a leg injury in the latter tournament, though, and he was substituted just before halftime in the first game, before featuring in T&T's last game of the campaign against Canada.

Last month, the San Juan North Secondary student, who also plays with Caledonia in the T&T Premier Football League (TTPFL), was named as one of the SSFL's top five players for the 2023 season.

The T&T squad includes veteran Belgian-based defender Sheldon Bateau, regulars Alvin Jones, Duane Muckette, Ross Russell Jr and Defence Force centre back Justin Garcia, who was named as the TTPFL Player of the Year last season.

The goalkeeping trio of Christopher Biggette, Adrian Foncette and Denzil Smith have also been retained by Eve, while Prisons FC goalie Aaron Enill has been selected on the back of fine form between the sticks in the TTPFL. The former Defence Force goalkeeper has been key in Prisons' run to the First Citizens Knockout Cup semis, helping them to penalty shootout wins against Heritage Petroleum Point Fortin Civic and MIC Matura ReUnited respectively.

There are first time call-ups for seven players, with central midfielders Simeon Bailey, Daniel David and 1976 FC Phoenix's Adriel George all in line for their debuts. Flankers Ezekiel Kesar and Josiah Wilson have also been rewarded for their good form in the TTPFL for Point Fortin Civic and league leaders Miscellaneous Police FC, respectively.

On Wednesday night, Kesar, a former Naparima College player, scored his tenth goal of the TTPFL campaign when Civic were hammered 6-1 by Caledonia at the Arima Velodrome.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm on both days, with tickets being sold at the venue on game day. The covered section is priced at $75, with $50 for the uncovered section.

Soca Warriors squad:

Goalkeepers: Christopher Biggette (Defence Force), Aaron Enill (Prisons FC), Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Denzil Smith (Club Sando).

Defenders: Sheldon Bateau (SK Beveren), Liam Burns (AC PoS), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Shervohnez Hamilton (Club Sando), Alvin Jones, Robert Primus (Police FC), Andre Raymond (Unattached), Ross Russell Jr (La Horquetta Rangers), Josiah Trimmingham (Montego Bay United).

Midfielders: Simeon Bailey, Josiah Wilson (Police FC), Daniel David (La Horquetta Rangers), Adriel George (1976 FC Phoenix), Kevon Goddard, Matthew Woo Ling (Defence Force), Duane Muckette, Michel Poon-Angeron (AC PoS), Lindell Sween (Caledonia).

Forwards: Ezekiel Kesar (Point Fortin Civic), Isaiah Lee (La Horquetta Rangers), Brent Sam (Defence Force).

SOURCE: T&T Newsday